Do you find yourself sitting around reflecting on Christmas memories this time of year. One memory that I have is of my mom telling me a story of her first Christmas married to my dad. They didn’t have a lot of money and learned many ways to stretch a dollar. She was in the grocery store one evening close to Christmas and she saw a couple with a small child in the shopping cart. They were holding an apple and an orange. Mom couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. They wanted to know if the child wanted an apple or an orange for Christmas. She said she wanted to call out “Why not both?” but she knew the answer before the question finished forming in her mind.
Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some people. There are families out there who have trouble putting food on the table so they cannot even begin to think of how to buy Christmas gifts. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the holiday with your family and friends, but as Christians we have the opportunity and a responsibility to bless and include others. Jesus told the disciples “Freely you have received, freely give” [Matthew 10:8]. Look around your sphere of influence. See if there is anyone who could use a helping hand.
Finances aren’t the only reason people have a hard time with the holidays. If they have recently lost a loved one or lost a loved one around the holidays, it may be difficult for them to find joy in the season. Instead of investing money, you may need to invest time. Invite them into your home and include them in your family’s celebrations. Bake some cookies to take to them or better yet, invite them over to help you bake. Make them feel loved, needed and a part of something [Luke 6:31].
This Christmas season, we have an opportunity to bring Jesus into some difficult situations by being His hands and His feet in the world. Whether it’s providing gifts, a few moments of conversation, gratitude, or a hug, you can share the love of Jesus with all you come in contact with this year. Why not give Christmas away?